Cheating: A Funny “How to”

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As most of you know, for the last two years I’ve been a substitute teacher. I don’t do it a whole lot, but its always an adventure when I do. If I were smarter, I would’ve written down all my funny and memorable experiences…but I didn’t. But yesterday, I got a good one…

I was subbing a high school English class. The students were taking a vocabulary quiz using a scantron. I’m at my desk, minding my own business, when I see out of the corner of my eye, some girl slyly slide the test and scantron into her notebook. I’ve seen this move before. I call it the “switch-n-sneak.” Here’s how the rouse works: Students take the test home, complete it, then sneak it back into the classroom. Maybe they’ll put it in the basket or hide it among papers on the teacher’s desk. All in the hope that the teacher thinks they’ve simply overlooked it among all the other papers they have. It’s a solid move when executed correctly. But sadly, this girl doesn’t understand how to play the game. She was WAY TOO sneaky and I caught on. I saw her do it…but decided to see what her plan was. So I wait until ‘everyone’ is done and count up the exams. Of course, I’m one short. So I play the idiot and ask, “Who isn’t done yet?”

No one responds… “Ok, so I’m an exam short. Did someone not take it?” Silence…but I decide to wait this one out and let the guilt eat her alive. After about 30 seconds of awkward silence she says, “Oh, I was gone last time so I didn’t take it.” Again, playing the part of the idiot I say, “Oh. That makes sense. So did I give you the exam and scantron?” She, thinking she’s in the clear, says, “Nope. I just didn’t take one.” It crossed my mind to cause a major scene and jump up on my desk, scream “YOU LIE!”, grab the notebook from her desk and parade it around…but I declined. I let her think she had gotten away with it for a few more minutes. When the class had moved on to other things, I sat down in the desk next to her, smiled and said, “Ya…so I saw you sneak the test into your notebook. Lets not cause a scene, so how about you just give it back to me and we move on?” She got a wide eyed look on her face and then accepted my pardon by handing over the exam. Hopefully she learned a valuable lesson on lying, but I doubt it. She’ll probably just refine her game for next time.

Some students walk into a class I’m substitute teaching in and automatically assume I’m an idiot. I know from experience that some subs are idiots…I just try not to think of myself as one. They probably think they can get away with their little tricks and games. Most of them don’t realize that I was in high school not so long ago and I learned those tricks and games and substitute teaching has only refined my skills. The “switch-n-sneak” was in play long before this girl attempted it and it’ll be here long after. I know of tricks she hasn’t even dreamed of. I’ve heard of all the tricks, seen some in action and even practiced a few. This are some of the tricks I’ve encountered in one way or another:

“The Sneak-n-switch”: cousin of the “switch-n-sneak.” It works in almost the opposite way. You somehow get a hold of the test before hand and sneak in your answers. Say you have an in-class essay. You write the essay beforehand, in the comfort of your home, and then simply turn that one in.

“The Informant” or “The Accomplice”: where you have a friend who has the class before you and can relay information to you. They take the test, then relay information to you that you use when you take the test. This works best if the principle of reciprocity works: you need to have class before them somewhere in your schedule so you can return the favor.

“The Morse Code”: This one is elaborate. You and a friend in the same class devise a system of sharing answers using a series of signals or taps on the desk. You tap out the number in question and then have a system taps to indicate the answers; A=1 tap, B=2 taps, etc. This one is tricky and can’t be used often.

“The Hall Pass”: In this case, you store valuable information in your locker. Get stuck on a question, use the hall pass, find said answer. Again, this is a one-time deal. Unless you have a 44 oz. Mountain Dew on your desk…then maybe you can get away with two trips.

“The Technology”: This one involves the sophisticated use of technology. Most teachers will let students listen to an iPod while taking a test. Classical music is always good to get the brain firing, right? Well, what if that “Classical Music: Track 1” is actually a series of recorded notes? Don’t laugh, I’ve seen it in action.

“The Old School”: This is where you writes on some portion of your body, ie. Your hand, arm, ankle, etc. Or writing notes on a pencil, the brim of your hat, tongue of your shoe, etc. Again, these techniques are old school to the core.

“The Pre-emptive Strike”: This is where you miss the class the day before the exam. Hence, most likely granting yourself one more day of study time and probably allowing you to use the “Informant” technique.

“The Excuse”: “My computer wouldn’t print off. I sent you the e-mail did you not get it? My boyfriend’s uncle died. I don’t know how to work Blackboard. I did the assignment but it deleted itself while I was trying to print it off. I’m just having some real serious personal issues right now that are too hard to talk about…” You get the idea…

Now, I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I cheated my way through school, I didn’t. Although, I’ll be the first to admit that I have cheated on occasion but I think everyone has at one time or another. We’ve all, in a moment of weakness, looked over at our neighbor’s paper or asked a friend what was on the exam. Some people are better at it than others. Thats the sad thing. If that girl had an ounce of “game” she would’ve gotten away with it. She was a rookie…

Source by Bryce Abplanalp

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